When Ethan was first diagnosed with autism we were introduced to Makaton and we started to learn the signs. It quickly became apparent that Ethan wasn’t interested in learning the signs. I say wasn’t interested, I’m sure that there is more to it than that as it took Ethan a long time to learn that he can do things with his own hands. Our hands were always used as a tool for him which is an autistic trait.
We quickly discovered that Ethan is more of a visual boy and PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) quickly became his communication preference.
At Ethan’s school they do use Makaton to communicate with the children and I was hoping that Ethan would start to sign. We also started to take Little E to Sing and Sign so that we could learn the signs as a family. Ethan still doesn’t sign to us but his communication has moved on massively since he started school so it is all very positive.
Last week we were watching Mr Tumble and for some reason I signed ‘Please’ and Ethan clearly identified the sign for me by telling me what I had signed.
I also tried to see if Ethan knew the signs for ‘Cake’ and ‘Biscuit’ which led to Ethan demanding that I get him a cake.
I am so pleased that Ethan can recognise these signs. It proves that he is learning them even though he doesn’t, or has decided not to sign.